#1. The Value of Solar

We are all aware of the continual struggle to maintain the charge of our RV batteries due to the constant.5-2A pull of RVs.

Just to keep the lights off, 12-48AH of battery will be used per day! Sulfation and decreased capacity are even worse when using lead acid batteries.

Your RV converter is unable to properly charge your battery with the appropriate voltage for the outside temperature as a competent solar charge controller can.

How can I charge the batteries in my RV?

#2. How Much Solar Power Will My RV Need?

The very lowest amount of solar power needed to maintain a battery bank is 200 watts, and that’s just when your RV is not in use.

However, you’ll need more if you’re utilizing an RV.

I had terrific success installing a 700 watt solar kit for toy haulers.

Many RVers who utilize tiny inverters appear to find this to be the sweet spot.

Red increases solar yield.

A 100 watt solar panel mounted horizontally on the roof can provide 360Wh or around 30AH of 12 volt battery charging (see disclaimers below).

A 100 watt solar panel can power your TV for 10 hours if you peek at the back and see that it consumes 36 watts.

Your household refrigerator will use 720 watts while it is operating at 6A at 120v.

It will use 4,320Wh or 360AH if it operates for one-fourth of a day, using 1000W of solar panels.

#3. Disclaimers

Nothing in the previous sentence mentions inefficiencies or losses; it is just “basic math.” With solar days varying in length, from 5 hours to as much as 9 hours, depending on the season and region.

An inverter is required to operate plug-in appliances; they are generally 80–90% efficient.

There will be a no load drain of around 25 watts per hour or 600 watt-hours if you keep an inverter on all day.

The formulae must include this calculation.

The new type light switches on ATC trailers will need 48AH or 576Wh each day to keep the lights off!

#4. Ceiling panels

Because they constantly recharge your batteries while the sun is up, roof panels are fantastic.

Unbelievable as it may seem, some solar contractors just connect the solar panels using VHB tape rather than drilling holes.

Solar panel mounting technique.

Once you’ve installed them, all you need to do is wash and examine them.

The roof’s panels are still tilable if you so wish.

“Tilt bars” are something that AM Solar offers, and they really do make a difference.

Your roof’s available space will determine how many solar panels you can install there.

There are several uses for additional solar energy on such days.

The roof’s panels might be more durable than your current roof and will aid in shading your RV.


#5. Modular Panels

#6. Portable Panels Versus Roof Panels

Three days were devoted to my testing of the two approaches of employing solar panels.

This test was carried out in the middle of January 60 miles east of Yuma, Arizona.

For 30 days each side of Winter Solstice, this information ought to be correct (shortest Sun day of the year).

The first two test days were overcast, but the last day was bright and ideal for solar.

I turned the panel three to four times a day when I remembered since the tracking was intermittent.

The same lithium battery with plenty of area for charging was coupled with both 360 watt Victron solar charge controllers.

I changed the outcomes on the 1.38 kw day by tilting it at 2 p.m. to have more battery that night.

The outcomes continue to speak for themselves.

A flat solar panel’s output will practically quadruple with tilting and tracking at this time of year! This is due to the short days and insufficient direct sunlight hitting the flat display, in my opinion.

This supported my choice to sell my Honda generator last year and carry a ground panel.

I also offer solar componentry.

#7. Effective Charging of Generators

Using a generator to bulk charge batteries is a smart idea since most converter chargers may consume up to 1000 watts for a portion of this one to three hour period.

The generator is quite ineffective throughout the 4-6 hour absorption period.

Only 150 watts may be applied to a 220AH battery during the bulk of the absorption stage.

Some boondockers may start the generator in the morning to charge in bulk before letting their solar panels complete the job.

According to what I’ve been informed, the Onan 5500 generator uses 1/2 gallon per hour when operating at a moderate load.

It makes sense to run the water heater on electricity and any other appliance you can think of while the Converter is charging the majority of the battery if you want to start the Onan.

#8. Full-Time Nomads

The most cautious boondockers will want solar panels with a minimum output of 200 watts.

The range I see outside is between 400 and 700 watts.

Over 800 watts of solar panels will be available for power-hungry boondockers! When beginning to boondock, it is simple to start with solar panels on the ground before you know your solar demands.

Try placing them flat on the ground with your RV’s orientation.

After that, follow the sun with them to see how the output varies depending on where and when you camp.

No amount of study can replace practical application.

Which kind of battery should I purchase?

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Written by Bob Matsuoka
Bob Matsuoka is a blogger and founder of RVing Beginner blog. He has been blogging for over five years, writing about his own family’s RV adventures, tips for people who are interested in buying an RV or taking their family on an adventure by RV.